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Unformatted text preview: Tribes: The Nuer of the Upper Nile River • Tribes are cattle pastoralists • Sudan= great, open grassland traversed by Upper Nile River • Tropical climate • Neighboring tribes fear Nuer • Nuer total around 300,000 people in mid-1930s • Dinka= long-time enemies • Cattle main source of food in forms of milk, meat and blood • Cattle skins used for beds, bags, trays, cord, drums, shields • Cattle bones and dung used as plaster and fuel • Milk= staple food year-round • Men forbidden to milk; women & kids do twice a day • When food is scarce, bleed cattle from small hole in neck vein • Blood is boiled until thick/ stands until coagulated into solid block, &roasted& eaten • Wash faces and hands in cattle urine; ashes from cattle dung used as well • Crops: millet (sorghum) and some maize • Millet brewed into nutritious beer • No domestic fowl kept • At the end of the rainy season, after the ground has dried, villagers set fire to the grass to make new pasture. Done frequently: pasturage becomes sparse • Cattle individually owned • Share food among community to provide for the less fortunate • No trade • House= small group of huts and cattle barn • Homestead= single nuclear family or extended family of father and sons’ families • Economic activities individualized by homesteads • All members of village are kindred, regulated by kinship patterns • One is a relative or an enemy, no gray area • All male relatives in parents’ generation called father and women called mother • Relatives in one’s own generation called brother or sister • Children’s generation called son or daughter • Maternal uncle has special relationship to nephew • Age-set system= males divided into age grades so each one is senior, equal or junior to any other male • Women belong in system as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters of particular males • Exogamous patrilineal descent line is most significant relationship • Lineage membership= participation in a group sharing territorial rights, has common political & juridical obligations, and owns certain ceremonial rights • Lineage thus plays a political role • Lineages don’t permit marriage with a fellow member, but members of same village frequently marry • Related lineages form a clan •...
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- Spring '08
- Nuer, Upper Nile River, Nuer · Nuer